snarke wrote: As described, the sheets are cut into strips, the strips are cut into rectangles, and the rectangles are stacked up in a trough. At Carta Mundi, they had a remarkably clever machine that cut a limited variable amount of the strips into rectangles, then scooped the rectangles into the trough, so they're tightly packed face-to-back.
The cutting die is not the usual thin metal edge, but a thick rectangular tube with sharpened edges. A hydraulic ram shoves the entire stack of cards (if I recall correctly, between 300 and 1000 at a time) through the die, with the pointy corners and thin bits of the sides peeling off the die as they go. It was pretty awesome watching that solid block of paper just slide through the die.
Other manufacturers might have slightly different methodologies. This description is based on my visit to the Carta Mundi manufacturing plant in 1994. I was Wizard's production manager 1993-1994, Alpha through Dark.
cataclysm80 wrote: Thanks Dave! So if I understand correctly, you're saying that the cards were basically pushed through a big cookie cutter, and that the corners were not (at that time) ground off with a rotating device? That's very interesting! Any idea how a card with some rounded and some square corners would be created using that method?
snarke wrote: Big cookie cutter; basically correct.
Rounded/square. It's hard to say w/o seeing the card, and unless the card was made by Carta Mundi, that might not be the method used. but if you have this huge block of rectangular cards, and one of them didn't quite slide down into place, so it was sticking up a bit, and then you ran it through the die, some of the corners would not get hit by the die . . .
ouallada wrote: Well, I'm pretty sure that at least at some point in time, Carta Mundi cut and rounded at different locations, as were printings for fronts and backs. That also explains square cornered cards in the market.
snarke wrote: They did eventually open a US plant, I believe. But that was all after my time. In fact, I wasn't the production manager any more when we first visited Carta Mundi. I think I was there because everybody knew that they *should* have sent me in '93, but we couldn't really afford it.
cataclysm80 wrote: Here is some info from the Carta Mundi website...
In 1994, Cartamundi, Inc. was created to enter the U.S. market as a sales office in Kentucky.
Shortly after that, in 1996, the U.S. headquarters (manufacturing facility) was established and began production in Kingsport, Tennessee.
In 2006, as a result of the tremendous growth in the U.S. market, Cartamundi acquired Yaquinto Printing Company in Dallas Texas.
In mid-2007, Cartamundi USA Headquarters was relocated from Kingsport to the Yaquinto facility in Dallas. To accomodate the growth, a new state-of-the-art building is in development for 2008. Renovation of a new 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Dallas began in September 2008. By January of 2009, after more than a year of engineers, contractors, inspectors and movers, Cartamundi USA fully occupied its new home.
I suspect that these time frames could coincide with the possible change of corner rounding operations due to the possible use of new machines.
cataclysm80 wrote: It sounds like the 1994 and prior cards should use the corner rounding process as Dave Howell described. (probably 1995 cards also) For example, if the card was sticking up a little so that the lower corners don't get cut, then the top of the card that was sticking up would be cut off by the press simultaneous to all of the correctly positioned cards top corners. You'd end up with a card that was not the correct height. Does that sound like what you've seen on your older miscuts?
ouallada wrote: The majority of cards have already been cut by this time. If there is a difference in the height, it isn't going to be due to the rounding for the vast majority of the time.
cataclysm80 wrote: If the cards are being pressed (face first or back first) through a rectangle cookie cutter in stacks of 300-1000 at a time to shear off the corners, then anything sticking up should also be sheared off.
ouallada wrote: Depends on the tool. You won't expect a tool that rounds corners to lop cardstock in two easily, would you? If that were the case, mid-card crimps would never occur, as you'd just assume that the crimp would cut the card in two instead, which isn't the case.
cataclysm80 wrote: No not easily, I expect it takes a LOT of force for a hydraulic ram to push 1000 cards through a slightly smaller rectangle to shear off corners and edges. Kind of like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
ouallada wrote: The card will just get bent, then. Or are you saying it is more likely to get cut than bent. If you shove an a5 paper into an a4 hole with serrated edges, it doesn't cut. It bends. Cardstock doesn't have the tensile strength to remain in an erroneous position in order to get cut before it bends.
cataclysm80 wrote: I did wonder if it would get bent, and if clearance is tight as required for shearing, possibly mangled or torn. It sounds like these are features we should be seeing on any Belgium made square cornered cards, which is probably all magic cards prior to 1996 when the USA facility opened.
snarke wrote: It would get cut. Imagine a deck of cards sitting on a table. Pick up half of the deck, move the top card of the stack on the table off-center by a centimeter, then replace the rest of the deck. One card is now sticking out of the deck slightly. Next, place a cute little cookie cutter on top of the deck. Maybe it's shaped like a candy-cane. Now push. Oops! We've just crushed the cookie-cutter. Okay, let's make the cookie-cutter out of 5mm (1/4") high-grade steel, and grind an angle on the bottom edge like a knife. Now push. Really hard. The paper outside the cookie-cutter is forced away from the blade, tearing off as it goes, and the inside turns into a tidy stack of candy-cane shaped cards. (Note that when I say "like a knife," this isn't quite right. The *inside* of the cookie cutter stays perfectly straight. The bevel is only on the outside. )